We were delighted to receive an email from a visitor to our website that included a photograph of a can of cycle oil that he had recently acquired with the label “James Farren & Son, Station Road, Cowfold”.
We were pleased to provide him with the following background information on the find:
James Farren originally came to the village as a journeyman blacksmith working in a village forge. He and his son gradually developed a business that repaired bicycles. The business was attached to Sussex House where they lived. James’s son, Frederick, fought in the First War War as an engine fitter and, when he returned home, the business expanded to encompass cars. This led them to acquire a new premises, White Lined House, in the early 1920’s and where they had petrol pumps on the roadside.
As the address on your can is Station Road, we would imagine that it could date from the first quarter of the 20th century.
Rather sadly, Bob Farren (James Farren’s grandson) passed away this year aged 91; he would have loved to see your photo.
A larger version of the photograph is here.